Venice has held an enduring interest for generations of British artists and travellers since the time of the Crusades (1096–1291).
Then, as now, people were captivated by the city-state’s winding canals, striking architecture and distinctive visual arts. Its geographical location meant foreign trade flowed through its port and made Venice a powerful force in Europe and beyond for centuries.
It was at the height of its cultural influence during the eighteenth century, when a trip to Venice was a rite of passage for young ladies and gentleman of wealth and taste, as well as artists. The watercolours, prints and drawings collected here from the fine art collections of National Museums Liverpool capture the changing appearance of the city-state from then until more recently.